Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blowin' in the Wind



Here's my dandelion piece.

My ideas about what I wanted to portray about dandelions changed as I explored this theme, but I always came back to featuring the delicate puffs and the spikey leaves.
I started by needle-felting some silk organza into a piece of hand-dyed cotton. The puff you see is actually the back of the felting -- that is, the threads pushed through the cotton are what creates the puffs here.
I machine-quilted in the stems and leaves.
The hand-dyed cotton base set the scene for this, so machine quilting was just about filling foliage in to suit the contours provided by the existing color.
Once I quilted in the shapes of the leaves, I was tempted to stop there. But as I want this challenge to push me to try things I don't typically do, I went further. I added hand-embroidery for detail in the puffs and drifting seed heads, then added more color with pastel crayons.

17 comments:

Kristin L said...

Good for you to try something new and different. I think this is a wonderful use of an existing hand dyed fabric -- letting it dictate the composition. The felting gives a very dandelion-y softness to the puffs. I like it!

Gerrie said...

Diane! this is loverly! You have really captured the feeling of puffy dandelions blowing in the wind. I think the hand stitching adds a wonderful dimension. thanks for changing the setting for the comments. I like to look at what I am commenting on since I suffer from short term memory problems! :-)

Carol said...

I love this piece, it is so delicate, and looks like you could just pluck them off the quilt. good on you!

Françoise said...

It's beautiful Diane. I like everything in this piece.
This is getting really exciting. All the quilts are so different!

StegArt said...

I love the varying shades of greens. It has such depth. And your portrayel of the puffs is awesome. The embroidery was a great addition.

Terry said...

All of these quilts seem so summery they are making me yearn for summer all over again. This one especially has such atmosphere. You can feel that little breeze and the warm sun. Beautifully captured!

Nellie's Needles said...

This is delicate and ethereal! Beautiful!

Helen Conway said...

You were absolutely right to to continue - you turned a rather 'blah' quilt into something floating and dreamlike and much more accomplished. You have made me add pastel crayons onto my lits of to try techniques. Any brands you recommend?

pcoxdesign said...

Wow! Way cool!

Diane said...

Helen, the crayons I've used are Neocolor watersoluble wax pastel crayons, made by Caran D'Ache. They're sort of like watercolor pencils -- you can use them on wet fabric and they disperse a bit like watercolor paints. You can use them dry (which I did here) then paint with water to blend colors. You heat set them with an iron.

madhatter said...

a beautiful piece - very airy and light, one can almost feel the breeze!

kirsty said...

Nellie used the exact word I was thinking of - ethereal. This is one of the loveliest uses of felting I've ever seen. It has such a gentleness about it. Beautiful.

Nikki said...

You captured the softness of the blowing seeds perfectly. The only thing that would be different in my yard would be MORE seeds. I love it.

de vliegende koe said...

You can almost feel the softness of the blown dandelions! Wonderful!

Brenda said...

Knowing when to stop is truly an art in itself and I'm glad that you didn't stop too soon. I love the details in this piece, right down to the multi-hued binding.

Diane said...

Brenda! Thanks for commenting on the binding! That's one of those things that took a bit of time to get symmetrical but it makes a big difference to me -- I'm quite pleased that you noticed.

PaMdora said...

I love your dandelions!